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Going Negative

Going Negative

It was an ah-ha moment. I was in a ‘big box’ gym with some friends and an elderly lady shuffled by us and got on the treadmill. Slowly, and carefully. We were admiring her for being there in the first place, which prompted someone to say, “That is awesome. Good for her. That’s why I am here now, so I can be her when I’m older.”

And then it hit me, and I said, “Wait a minute! Are you kidding? I’m here so that I make sure that is NOT me when I’m older!!”

I don’t want to hobble into the gym when I’m 80. I want to walk with strength and confidence! I realized prevention was my motivation. If I can extend how long I’m nimble and strong, I will. Suddenly, I had realized that I was using a negative as my motivation, and I was ok with that.

As you may know, years ago I found my inner power and purpose through fitness. Feeling strong, physically, has had a direct parallel with my mental strength. The two seem to go hand-in-hand; as my mind gets stronger, I am able to physically push myself to do things I couldn’t do before. It’s cyclical and as far as I can tell, it doesn’t have an end. If I can go higher each year in my mental capacity, I call that success. If I can use fitness as an avenue to do that, I call that happiness!

One of my favorite quotes is not one of your normal “rah-rah” quotes but it’s more of a statement from a university after having done a particular study on self-discipline and its benefits. Here it goes: “Long-term studies prove the most important human discipline involved in long-term success is the ability to forego IMMEDIATE GRATIFICATION for a larger but delayed reward.” -Walter Mischel, Department of Psychology, Columbia University.

I’m in this for the long haul, not a short reward. I want to feel good now, yes, but I also want to do things now that create long term rewards. I understand the compound effect my long-term self-control will have.

So, this means saying no to...

too much sugar,

too much alcohol, 

too much rest (because, I have goals!),




and the like.

What’s interesting about this ‘self-control’ is, it isn’t all about deprivation now for a later reward. Choosing NO can actually makes you feel good now, also. One simply feels better NOW when they avoid all the above, right now. Admit it, even though cake tastes good now, and saying no to it is not fun now, it also feels good now to be light and strong. Overindulging in dessert can actually feel awful in the now, because you feel stuffed and sick to your stomach. The same goes with alcohol. Alcohol can feel good now, but it also feels really good to wake up easily each morning because you chose to say no to it.

It is all about perspective and what you prioritize, what your important goals are.

If thought of in reverse, a life of ease now could result in a really short life!

A life of hard work put in now could be the difference in the privilege of extra years spent on this planet. However, for some a long life not lived well is a worse fate than a short one!

It’s important to make sure that those final years are still enjoyable. For me, that means being able to move as I want to for as long as I can. Additionally, those extra years will be some of the best of my life, as I’ll have acquired wisdom and so, I will truly know what really matters, who to pay attention to, and what to give a care about.

Good stuff.

Quality years.

Sacrifices now.

Greater rewards later.

Think now about what you want the overall quality of your life to be. Think about what you don’t want it to be. Use that negative to motivate you to be the opposite and watch what happens!



Heather "The Hero" Hudson